In most cases, ovarian cancer symptoms typically do not present until the condition reaches an advanced stage. Even then, the signs are usually vague and can be easily mistaken for other conditions unrelated to cancer, like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Adding to the complexity is the fact that there is no reliable screening modality for ovarian cancer. All of these factors underscore the importance of a woman being aware of changes in her body and promptly seeing a physician when she notices anything different.
Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Common ovarian cancer symptoms include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- A quick feeling of fullness after eating
- Frequent urination
- Constipation or other changes in bowel habits
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Unexplained weight loss
When to See a Gynecologic Oncologist
Although many of these ovarian cancer symptoms are commonly experienced by women during menstruation and other non-cancerous situations, it’s best to see a an expert gynecologist oncologist if any symptoms begin suddenly, feel different than normal digestive or menstrual problems or persist for more than two weeks. In general, the presence of symptoms may not indicate cancer, but it is always advisable to seek help from your primary care physician or OB/GYN when concerned. The number of symptoms that occur and their frequency often play a key role in diagnosis.
Our dual board-certified and experienced gynecologist oncologists at Moffitt Cancer Center are available to all women for consultation, even without a referral. Whether you are facing new symptoms, are looking for a second opinion, or are in need of symptom relief in conjunction with your current treatment plan, our multispecialty ovarian cancer team is here to assist you. Virtual Visits appointments are available.
Medically reviewed by Mian Shahzad, MD, PhD, gynecologic oncologist
For more information about ovarian cancer symptoms and treatment, please call 1-888-663-3488 or schedule an appointment online.